Governor Josh Shapiro Signs Executive Order Creating New Commonwealth Office of Digital Experience to Provide Improved, User-Friendly Online Services to Pennsylvanians
April 25, 2023
By Creating An In-House Team of Digital Experts, the Shapiro Administration Will Make Digital Services Easier to Use and Administer, and Save Taxpayers Money in the Long Run
Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Josh Shapiro signed an Executive Order announcing his customer service transformation strategy and establishing the Commonwealth Office of Digital Experience (CODE PA) to improve online services for Pennsylvanians and streamline the way they interact with the Commonwealth online. As part of this announcement, Governor Shapiro named Bryanna Pardoe to the role of Executive Director of CODE PA. CODE PA will work to provide digital services that are responsive, user-friendly, and accessible to every Pennsylvanian.
Pennsylvanians use the Commonwealth’s websites and digital services for everything from renewing their vehicle registration and paying their taxes to visiting our state parks and getting a license that helps further their careers. CODE PA, led by Pardoe, will make it easier for Pennsylvanians to connect with the vital resources provided by the Commonwealth. Governor Shapiro’s Executive Order to create CODE PA underscores his commitment to making customer service a centerpiece of his Administration and ensures that government moves at the speed of business to best serve the people of Pennsylvania.
By creating an internal team that is able to build digital products and services in house, the Shapiro Administration will be able to save taxpayers money in the long run by reducing reliance on expensive contracts with external consultants and vendors.
“Pennsylvanians rely on digital services every day – whether it’s renewing a license, accessing their health care benefits, or reserving a campsite at a state park. We need to meet people where they are and make it easier to work with the Commonwealth online,” said Governor Shapiro. “There should be no wrong door for Pennsylvanians looking to access government services — and under the leadership of CODE PA, we will create human-centered, user-friendly, reliable, and accessible digital services that create opportunity for Pennsylvanians to take advantage of all the resources and benefits the Commonwealth has to offer.”
“As a Pennsylvania resident and digital experience professional, I am excited for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform how we interact with state government,” said CODE PA Executive Director Bryanna Pardoe. “My goal for this team is pretty simple: I want to help make digital experiences easy for every Pennsylvanian and I want to make it the best in the country.”
“As key service delivery teams like CODE PA launch in states across the country, the U.S. Digital Service is proud to support their work to deliver services to all people equitably and effectively. CODE PA will ensure that when digital tools are used to deliver services, Pennsylvanians can rely on a seamless and trustworthy experience with their government,” said U.S. Digital Service Deputy Administrator Cori Zarek.
Since 2022, more than 250,000 people have made reservations through the State Parks and Forests digital reservations system. This year alone, nearly half a million people filed their sales tax returns using the PA Department of Revenue’s myPATH system – that’s 91 percent of all returns filed. And since 2021, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs has used their online service, PA VETConnect, to reach more than 10,000 veterans and their families.
The Governor’s Executive Order recognizes that many Pennsylvanians are interacting with the Commonwealth entirely online – and that number will only grow. CODE PA will work to make Pennsylvania’s online services among the best in the country, and increase opportunities for all Pennsylvanians by taking on projects like: creating a single, easy to use application where residents and businesses can easily apply for and find all of the permits they need for a particular project; building a cross-agency product that allows residents to apply for related benefits that currently live separately with the Department of Human Services (DHS), the Department Of Health (DOH), and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and make them available through one platform; and bringing offline forms online, creating a digital path to accessing services currently only available through paper forms at a Commonwealth office.
“Governor Shapiro has made customer service a centerpiece of his Administration since his first day in office, and this new initiative to improve customer service in Pennsylvania’s digital space will help us close the gap between the ‘dot com’ experience and the ‘dot gov’ experience,” said Secretary of Administration Neil Weaver. “As Secretary of Administration, I look forward to partnering with Bryanna and CODE PA to transform how Pennsylvanians interact with their state government online, deliver online experiences that build trust in government, and make it easier for Pennsylvanians to get what they need and get on with their day.”
The Shapiro Administration is committed to transforming state government to serve Pennsylvanians more effectively and efficiently. In his first month in office, Governor Shapiro signed an executive order that created the Pennsylvania Office of Transformation and Opportunity – a one-stop-shop for businesses to help cut through red tape, bring state agencies together, support Pennsylvania businesses that want to grow, and encourage other businesses to move here. Governor Shapiro also signed an executive order to improve the Commonwealth’s licensing, permitting, and certification processes, to ensure that state government moves at the speed of business.
Those interested in applying for six leadership positions in the new CODE PA office can apply through May 10 at employment.pa.gov/digitalservices. Leadership positions include: Head of User Experience, Head of Front-End Development, Head of Back End Development, Head of Operations and Procurement, Head of Product Management, and Head of Quality, Analytics, and Infrastructure.
Read Executive Order 2023-08, Commonwealth Office of Digital Experience, here.
Read more about Bryanna Pardoe here.
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